The Ebola epidemic, which was reported on August 1 in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu in the northeast of DRC, is already the largest in the history of the country in connection with the number of infections to add 319.
"This outbreak just surpassed the first recorded epidemic in history (from the DRC, then Zaire) in 1978 in Yambuk, Ecuador (northwest), to date 319 cases and 198 deaths," Health Minister Oly Ilunga statement.
So far, the outbreak in Yambuk, after the discovery of this disease – named after the Congo Ebola River – was not only the worst of the country with 280 deaths, but also more infections (318).
This epidemic, with 198 deaths reported by the Congolese Ministry of Health on 8 November, is the third deadliest country in the country, the second only on the first outbreak in 1976 and the third one proclaimed in 1995, the city of Kikwit, in which 250 people died .
"No other epidemic in the world was as complex as the one we are experiencing," said Ilunga, who also recalls the rejection, threats and aggression commonly encountered by medical and humanitarian teams deployed in the area.
The strong rejection generated by much of the population to be treated against Ebola – due to ignorance, fear of death and cultural beliefs – is complicated by the instability that affects these areas northwest of Congo.
This is the first time the Ebola epidemic has been declared in a conflict zone where hundreds of armed groups are operating, causing the constant displacement of hundreds of thousands of people who may be in contact with this virus.
Danger complicates and limits the work of medical staff who have lost attacks or even been kidnapped by insurgent groups in a safe funeral, as was the case with three civil protection agents and epidemiologists in Matembo.